Monday, October 10, 2016

The Beginning of the End

Buna tuturor!

The only reason for the dramatic title is that, well. It's the beginning of my last transfer. It's crazy to think about, but I know that it's going to be a great one!

Sora Gubar and I found out on Saturday that she will be serving in Sibiu, and I will be staying here in Iasi to train another new missionary, Sora Langenstein! It was a total shock to us both, especially because she's the only new sister coming in this transfer, and I will be doing only the first half of her training before going home. But I'm excited to finish strong with boboaca foaca! Serving with Sora Gubar was absolutely amazing and so much fun. I know that she's off to do great things in the west!! (if you're reading this Sora Gubar, it means you survived the 13 hour train ride... маладецы!! сукчэс!!! тэ убэск!!!! :)))

I'm writing you this e-mail from Bacau.. super random, but Sora Kitchen and Sora Gleason are nice enough to let me stay with them until Sora Langenstein gets here on Wednesday!

I just wanted to share the unexpected miracle that happened this morning.

     It started out with Sora Gubar and I waking up at 5:30 instead of 3:30. I was supposed to already be on a train to Bacau, and Sora Gubar's train to Bucuresti was leaving in 30 minutes. We flew out of bed, grabbed our bags, said a prayer that we would be able to make it for Sora Gubar's train, and headed out the door to grab a taxi to the gara. After calling every taxi number we had and eventually resorting to running up and down the big street in front of our bloc, it was 5 minutes to 6:00. We eventually got a taxi, told him that we had a train leaving in five minutes, and he sped off. Sora Gubar took her ticket out to check the time, and we found out it actually didn't leave until 6:10. We made it just in time to get her suitcases on as they blew the whistle.
     After I waved goodbye, I was left in the gara to figure out how I would be getting to Bacau. I had a feeling there was a reason we didn't hear our alarm go off, and that there was someone I would need to meet on the way to Bacau that I wouldn't have had I taken the earlier train. So I said a prayer, felt good about taking the next possible maxi-taxi headed to Bacau, and went across the street to buy the ticket. I was one of the first people to claim a seat, and I just hoped and prayed that the person that chose to sit next to me would be open for a conversation that early in the morning.
     I was writing in my journal when two gruff-looking guys stepped on to the maxi-taxi, one of which asked me if the seat next to me was taken. I politely said no, and he sat right down. Having had sketchy experiences with Romanian guys in the past, my first thought was, "Great. I'm going to be stuck next to this guy." I didn't make any attempt at starting a conversation with him for the first hour of the ride, knowing that he was probably just as tired as I was. Sure enough, he fell asleep, and I started taking pictures out the window as the sun came up. He eventually woke up, and I noticed he was watching me take pictures. I looked at him and said, "E frumos, nu?" He quietly agreed and smiled. I thought he was going to go back to sleep, but he started telling me about how much more beautiful the countryside of Romania would be if it weren't a constant reminder of how undeveloped it is. He went on to explain that he loves all nature, but he especially prefers the mountains of Torino, Italy where he works. He pulled out some pictures of his own to show me what he meant, and we ended up talking for the rest of the drive. He told me about his family, how he came to Iasi for the weekend to be with them for his son's birthday. He asked why I'm here, and I explained a little bit about what it's like to be a missionary. We had some good laughs about the fact that I don't have a boy waiting for me at home (thank goodness haha). 
     We both got off in Bacau, and he (Petru was his name) helped me find a taxi. Before saying goodbye, I told him that I knew it wasn't an accident that we had met that morning, how everything that had happened with the alarm and missing my train was the reason we had met. He agreed. I asked him if I could give him something, and I pulled out a personalized copy of The Book of Mormon. He was so happy, and told me he would definitely read it and keep in touch. We exchanged numbers, headed our separate ways, and I was left amazed at the way God works. I didn't do anything special, except to pray to be in the right place at the right time. God is the one making this amazing work possible. I'm so grateful that He lets us play a small part.

Love and all the best for the coming week!

Cu drag,

Sora Rich

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